Millville Senior High School graduate and former OotM team member Samuel Brozina offers a closer look at the creative problem-solving program.
A creative problem-solving program for students from kindergarten through college, Odyssey of the Mind sees team members work together to solve predefined long-term problems before presenting their solutions in a competition environment. Now a licensed pilot who, as a student, was involved in Odyssey of the Mind while studying at Millville Senior High School in Millville, New Jersey, Samuel Brozina explains more about the program, often abbreviated to OotM.
“The Odyssey of the Mind program was founded in 1978 at Glassboro State College in Glassboro, New Jersey,” reveals Brozina. The program’s first-ever competition, then known as Olympics of the Mind, involved students from 28 New Jersey schools, according to Samuel.
Odyssey of the Mind has since grown to include students from dozens of countries including Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. “Odyssey of the Mind teams are primarily split into four divisions,” explains Brozina, “known as Division I through Division IV.”
“In Division IV,” he continues, “each team member must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and be enrolled in one or more courses at either a two- or four-year university or college.”
A fifth non-competitive primary division also exists where students are given simplified problems and fewer constraints than in the higher divisions, according to Brozina. “Team sizes are always limited to a maximum of seven students,” adds the former Odyssey of the Mind team member.
The Odyssey of the Mind World Finals are held annually, usually at the end of May. “The past eight finals have each been won by either Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, or Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan,” Brozina reveals. Iowa State University took the title in 2018, 2016, 2014, and 2012, while Michigan State University was triumphant this year and in 2017, 2015, and 2013.
Samuel Brozina, from Millville, New Jersey, is a graduate of Millville Senior High School, a comprehensive community public high school located in Cumberland County, New Jersey. In addition to his involvement with Odyssey of the Mind, Brozina also served alongside teachers and administrators on the school’s leadership council, charged with planning and implementing various school improvement projects.
“Following my time at Millville Senior High School where I was involved with Odyssey of the Mind, I attended nearby Cumberland County College where I earned a degree in criminal justice,” reveals Brozina.
“I’ve since gone on,” he adds, wrapping up, “to acquire my private pilot’s license and have recently purchased my own airplane, a vintage ERCO Ercoupe, from a seller in Pennsylvania.”
To learn more about Samuel Brozina, visit https://samuelbrozinamillvillenj.com/.